If you’ve been wondering where Six of the Best for 90’s Starrcade has been; it’s because I’ve recently moved to a new flat and BT are taking a veritable age to set up my internet. As consequence, I’ve had no access to the WWE Network, and thus haven’t been able to put the list together. Thankfully I do have some shows on DVD that I can review in the meantime, so whenever I can get to somewhere with some internet I’ll upload them as and when I can.
Seeing as we’re in December, I thought I’d look at ECW’s penultimate Pay Per View Event before the company finally bit the dust in February of 2001. I’ve always been a big ECW fan, so seeing the company close its doors was not a pleasant experience, but they had least had a few decent matches on their final PPV events before closing the doors. The one benefit of ECW over any other company is that all the guys and gals were still working super hard, even as Rome was burning around them, so even if some of the matches weren’t great, the energy was usually infectious
The event is emanating from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York on the 3rd of December 2000
Calling the action are Joey Styles and Joel Gertner
Things start out with new ECW World Champion Steve Corino, who had won the belt the previous month at the last ever November to Remember. After having numerous of bloody matches on PPV events throughout the year, Corino had actually been able to turn babyface during the summer of 2000, following a previous 18 months of being the hated “Old School Hero”. However, now that he has won the title, he’s sadly reverted back to his smarmy “Jericho Light” gimmick from 1999, as he spends his promo mocking other champions who competed in New York, such as Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales. He calls former champion Jerry Lynn a cry-baby and says he’ll do whatever he can to retain the title tonight as he’s the “toughest bastard in the locker room”. He then nervously asks his manager Jack Victory if he wants the title, at which point Victory assures him that he doesn’t. This was pretty funny in places, but your World Champion shouldn’t really be a comedy character, especially in a company like ECW.
We cut to the ring, where Joey Styles and Joel Gertner go through their usual show intro. Gertner has his arm in a sling following an attack from CW Anderson, but he still manages to get in a dirty poem. That’s dedication to your craft right there! This segues into the opening montage, which looks pretty dark and grimy even for ECW’s usually low standards due to an intrusive graphic effect.
Simon Diamond and Swinger Vs Christian York and Joey Matthews
Simon and Swinger were getting into a decent grove as a heel trio with CW Anderson during this time period, but weren’t getting to do much on Pay Per Views. Diamond and Swinger had defeated York and Matthews in an impromptu match at November to Remember, so tonight is the rematch. Diamond has promo time pre-match, where he says tonight they’ll do away with the young tag team once and for all. Before the match can start however, a clientless Dawn Marie (Back before she’d had too much work done and was still pretty damn hot) comes down to the ring with a contract, saying that the winner of the match will get her managerial services. Well that’s an added incentive if I’ve ever heard of one!
Dawn’s delivery during that promo was pretty great actually. She was excellent at playing the ditsy Valley Girl. Joey Styles gets in a choice burn by saying that harnessing all of Dawn’s cerebral energy would generate enough power to…toast bread, gently on one side. I’ll let him have that one, it was pretty funny. Simon and Swinger jumpstart things and hit Matthews with a double flapjack, but York pulls Simon outside, before coming back in for an H-Bomb on Swinger.
A distraction by Swinger allows Simon to cut York off however, and Swinger works over York outside the ring whilst Simon occupies Matthews and the referee’s attention. Simon and Swinger work York over with some smooth heel tag work, and Simon punctuates the dominance with his “Simon Series” trio of suplexes. Dawn stops Swinger using a chair, and this momentary distraction allows York to dodge a flying clothesline and make the tag to Matthews.
Matthews runs wild, sending both heels outside for the mandatory dive section of the match, as both he and York take turns diving out onto the heels. Back inside, Simon lays Matthews out with his “Simonizer” finishing move (A fireman’s carry into a reverse DDT) before going for a double superplex on York with Swinger. Matthews is up pretty quickly though and stops the move before bringing Swinger down with a Super Rana. This allows York to hit…something from the top, which is enough for the babyfaces to pick up the win.
WINNERS: CHRISTIAN YORK AND JOEY MATTHEWS
Two short to be anymore, with a lot of big moves being shrugged off way too quickly so that they could go to the next spot. Matthews would eventually make it to WWE, where he would form the threesome known as “MNM” with Johnny “Nitro” Hennigan and Melina Perez. The three other men would all have runs in TNA/Impact Wrestling over the years, with Simon and Swinger winning the NWA Tag Titles in 2003. Dawn Marie would end up going to WWE, where the “highlight” of her spell there was a storyline marriage to Torrie Wilson’s father.
Despite being victorious, York and Matthews don’t end up leaving with Dawn, as she rakes York’s eyes, which allows Simon and Swinger to lay them out and leave with Dawn. Simon and Dawn were a real life item at the time, hence why they got put together here. If the plan was to have Dawn leave with the heels, why not just have her help them win? York and Matthews sell an injury post-match, so Joel Gertner leaves the commentary booth to help them, as he’d been associated with them a little bit on TV previously.
We cut to Danny Doring and Roadkill backstage for a promo. The Full Blooded Italians had attacked them in the build up to this event, going as far to cut Doring’s hair and even trim off Roadkill’s trademark beard. Doring cuts a fired up promo and declares that they will defeat The FBI for the titles tonight.
EZ Money w/ Julio Dinero, Chris Hamrick and Elektra Vs Balls Mahoney
Well, this is about as glaring a styles clash as you could possibly have, what with Money being a high flying entertainer and Balls being a chair swinging hardcore freak. Due to Gertner leaving with York and Matthews, Cyrus joins Joey on commentary, much to Joey’s disconcertion. Elektra’s “pectoral enhancements” were bloody ridiculous, but she fit this redneck trio pretty well as a manager.
Balls actually out wrestles Money in the early stages, but Money low bridges him to the outside of the ring, where his teammates hold Balls in place for a dive. Balls gets a terrifying looking, but safe, back suplex, which sends Money scurrying outside, so Balls goes aerial and leaps from the top rope onto the heel trio. It looked like Balls hit Money right in the face there.
Back inside, Balls floors Money with a clothesline and heads up top for the New Jersey Jam, but Money moves out of the way and hits a nice flipping springboard clothesline for two. Money punches away at Balls, and hits a chin breaker before heading up top. Balls catches Money however and brings him down with a superplex for two.
Balls tries to fire up the crowd, but they’re too focused on making lewd accusations toward poor Elektra, so it doesn’t really work. Hey, dipsticks, here’s an idea, why don’t you actually watch the chuffing match and, oh I don’t know, REACT to what’s actually happening in the ring rather than just making up lewd remarks to amuse yourselves? Just a thought…
Balls goes for a sunset flip, but Money holds on and hits a sit out reverse piledriver for two. Did EZ Money suffer a fatal exposure to radiation and end up regenerating into Hangman Page or something? Money heads up top and goes for a Swanton Bomb, but Balls rolls out of the way and hits a nice superkick for two.
Balls decides it’s time for some hot chair swinging action, but Hamrick pulls the chair away before he can use it, which allows Money to hit a kick for two. Money heads to the second rope and tries to hit Balls with his own chair. Balls manages to stop that, but Dinero and Hamrick come in with a series of moves, which allows Money to hit the moonsault for the win.
WINNER: EZ MONEY
I was expecting this to be a horrific styles clash, but it was actually a fun little match, as Balls showed he was more than just a one trick pony. Balls is now sadly no longer with us, but he did manage to get a run in WWE’s version of ECW, and ended up lasting much longer than most of the other ECW “Originals” did. Money ended up jumping to WCW, where he got a brief push as “Jason Jett” before the company shut down in March of 2001. He had a spell in WWE Developmental, before working some ROH shows in 2003 and basically disappearing. Julio Dinero and Elektra both had brief spells in TNA during its early years, with Dinero actually being CM Punk’s tag partner for a while. Hamrick spent most of his time on the independent scene, notably having a tag run in 1PW with Tracey Smothers.
Money and his crew decide to put the boots to Balls following the match, which prompts Nova to run down to the ring for the rescue. Nova throws the heels outside and hits a big dive onto them before throwing Dinero into the ring for the famed ECW Pay Per View Impromptu Match™
Nova Vs Julio Dinero
Nova had been turned on by tag team partner Chris Chetti earlier in the year, which caused him to go off the deep end and be far more vicious as a wrestler. The apex of this was him no selling a chair shot from Chetti on route to defeating him at November to Remember in a Loser Leaves ECW match. Nova hits The Sledge-O-Matic (Powerbomb into a low blow. Trust me, it makes sense if you see it) back inside, as Balls Mahoney stalks Dinero’s friends outside the ring so that they can’t interfere in the match.
The confusion outside the ring allows Hamrick to come in with a springboard missile dropkick onto Nova, which puts Dinero on top of things for a while. Dinero hits an STO and makes the cover, but Nova is out at two. Dinero clotheslines Nova but sells it himself, which makes me think that Nova was supposed to hit some kind of move there, but I’ll be darned if I know what it was supposed to be.
Nova fires up and unleashes his inner psycho by hammering away on Dinero in the corner before hitting an enziguri for two. Hamrick interferes again and hits Nova with a chair, but it only gets two for Dinero. Nova replies with the Roll of the Dice, which brings Elektra in for a slap. She makes the mistake of dilly dallying in the ring though, which allows Nova to lay her out with the Kryptonite Krunch. This match really has been a bit a mess, with stuff kind of just happening with no real rhyme or reason.
Nova heads up top, as the officials get Elektra’s limp body out of the ring, and hits a leg drop onto Dinero. This brings Money and Hamrick in, as they hit Dinero with a double wheelbarrow suplex. However, they also make the mistake of gurning in the ring when they should be fleeing, which allows Balls to clobber all of them with his trademark chair shots. With everyone down, Nova heads up top for a Swanton Bomb on Dinero to pick up the win.
This was a mess, with most of the moves being pretty sloppy and neither man having much in the way of poise or personality, outside of Dinero’s generic taunting and Nova’s cliché “crazy man” act. Nova would eventually go on to WWE, where he managed to get quite a few years on the payroll as evil fitness instructor “Simon Dean”, before eventually getting let go in the latter half of the 00’s. It was funny that Nova, a guy who always complained that people stole his moves, would steal Jeff Hardy’s finisher to win though. They even play Balls’ music at the end of the match, despite Nova winning, so everyone can sing along to “Big Balls”
We go backstage, where ECW Television Champion Rhino says that people from New York are not as tough as people from Detroit. He goes on to say that he let Spike Dudley live in their previous encounters, but tonight he might not be so generous. This was all yelling and wall slapping, but it got the point across at least.
We cut to a commercial for ECW’s website, as Joel Gertner excitedly declares that revealing pictures of Dawn Marie and Jasmine St Claire can be found on there. He also hypes the ECW return of The Dudley Boyz on an upcoming show at The ELK’s Lodge in Queens on the 15th of December.
ECW Tag Team Titles
Champions: Guido Mariato and Tony Mamaluke w/ Big Sal E Graziano Vs Danny Doring and Roadkill
If Doring and Roadkill lose, they must split up as a team
Joey makes a big point about how ECW is a company that adheres to its stipulations, cheerfully ignoring the fact that a pre-match stipulation was reneged upon in the freaking OPENER! Doring and Roadkill are super intense before the match due to the antics of The FBI in the build-up, although Doring might be going a bit OTT with it with his “angry” facial expressions. I do love the gag of Mamaluke having his weight announced in liquid ounces. Drake Maverick should really steal that one.
Guido and Doring trade holds and pin fall attempts to start, which leads to a standoff following a double dropkick. Doring decides he’s had enough of this wrestling lark and starts unloading on both members of The FBI with chops. This brings in Roadkill, but Mamaluke actually manages to arm drag him. Roadkill shrugs off the resulting arm bar however and hits Mamaluke with a Bossman Slam before bringing in Doring for the Lancaster Lariat of Lust (Hart Attack) on Guido.
Sal drags Roadkill outside for a brawl, which allows Mamaluke to hit an INSANE leaping tornado DDT from the top rope to the outside. Double powerbomb from the middle rope on Doring gets two for the champs back inside. The FBI work over Doring now with nice stuff, as they were really coming into their own as a team during this time period. Guido locks in a Kimura on Doring, but it’s just a rest hold here rather than a submission tease.
Doring manages to hit Mamaluke with The G Spot Sweep (The Stroke) and drags himself to the corner for the tag to Roadkill. Roadkill runs wild on the champs and hits Guido with a TKO before folding Mamaluke up with a powerbomb. With both the champs down, Roadkill takes the opportunity to flatten Big Sal with a dive to the outside, which gets a suitably big pop. It always amazed me how such a big bloke like Roadkill was so quick on his feet.
Doring slams Mamaluke back inside and heads up top for the Danaconda Leg Drop, but Guido stops him. Mamaluke tries to bring Doring down with a rana, but Doring fights him off and tries a TKO from the top, but it goes awry and is badly botched. Guido hits Doring with a title belt, but Doring is able to kick out at two. The FBI counter a Roadkill double clothesline attempt into a double Fujiwara Arm Bar, but Doring comes in to break it up.
Then we get the spot this match, and indeed this show is mostly remembered for, as Doring super kicks Mamaluke off the apron and he takes a horrifying bump into the crowd, landing on the guardrail along the way, in one of the sickest spots ever seen in ECW. To this day I don’t know how he managed to survive that, it’s utterly terrifying. Needless to say, Mamaluke is now out of the match, and this allows Doring and Roadkill to hit Guido with their Buggy Bang double team finisher to finally win the ECW Tag Team Titles after over three years of trying.
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: DANNY DORING AND ROADKILL
This fell apart a bit in the closing stages, but it was a decent match on the whole and the title change was a nice moment that was a long time coming. Both teams would end up in WWE’s version of ECW, but neither got much of a push and didn’t last very long. Guido and Mamaluke also spent some time in ROH prior to their respective WWE runs, with Mamaluke winning the ROH tag belts with Sal Rinauro.
We cut backstage, where Little Spike Dudley is not impressed with Rhino’s promo from earlier and responds by listing all the giants he’s killed, including Bam Bam Bigelow, 911, Curtis Hughes and The Dudley Boyz, and says he’s taking the TV Title tonight.
Before the next match, we see the towel boy cleaning the ropes. I wonder if that might come into play later?
CW Anderson Vs Tommy Dreamer
Simon, Swinger and Anderson had tried to end Dreamer’s career, so this match is Dreamer’s chance at getting some payback. CW having an instrumental of “Deepest Bluest” as his entrance music is pretty cool, although I’m not sure it really suits him. Dreamer wasn’t even bothering about wearing an ECW shirt during this period, going instead for a plain black Nike running top. Come on Tommy, you could have at least made the most minimal of effort and worn some official merch!
CW spits in Dreamer’s face to start, so Dreamer returns the favour and takes CW down with a Rude Awakening. Tommy actually tries out some submission stuff on CW, getting a rough looking arm drag before going to an arm bar. Dreamer continues to work CW’s arm, by hitting the Divorce Court and then sending CW’s shoulder into the post outside the ring. For those uninitiated, CW’s whole thing was that he’d work over his opponent’s arm, so this is Dreamer giving him some of his own medicine.
CW manages to hit a stunner to the arm to get a foothold in the match, before taking Dreamer outside and dropping him crotch first on the guardrail because…
Anyway, CW traps Dreamer’s arm in a chair and then hits it with another one, as the camera reveals that Dreamer has started bleeding. Dreamer fights back however and takes the fight into the crowd, but it ends up badly for him as CW vertical suplexes him outside there amongst the people. CW hotshots Dreamer’s arm over the top rope back inside and then adds some chair assisted stomps before applying an arm bar, but Dreamer makes the ropes.
CW keeps going after the arm in pretty creative ways, such as getting a reverse DDT where he also hooks the arm, but Dreamer keeps fighting and drops CW crotch first on a chair before adding an elbow drop from the second rope. Dreamer stupidly doesn’t cover though instead and grabs the towel off towel boy and drags CW’s head along the top rope. CW isn’t pleased by this and drags towel boy into the ring, where Dreamer rescues him and hits a big tornado DDT for two.
This brings out Lou E Dangerously (The former Sign Guy Dudley doing a spot on Paul E Dangerously impression) who shoves the poor kid down. Dreamer drags Lou E onto the apron, but CW stops him before he can do anything, which allows Lou E to hit Dreamer with his oversized cell phone. This brings out the real Paul E, who takes out Lou E with his own phone for a huge pop from the crowd. Dreamer hits CW with the Spicolli Driver, but CW is just about able to kick out at two. Fans were ready for that to be the finish, but that’s not the plan tonight.
CW hits a suplex for two and then brings him some chairs, but misses a charge in the corner. Dreamer puts CW into the Tree of Woe position and dropkicks the chairs into CW’s face. CW sells that by twitching in the Tree of Woe, which is a nice touch. Dreamer hits CW with a piledriver, but is again too stupid to make the cover and heads outside the ring for a table instead. Dreamer lies the table down flat and hits a side slam onto it before heading up top, but he takes too long and CW hits him with a chair before bringing him down with a superplex onto the table for two.
CW brings in another table and sets it up in the corner, but Dreamer hits him with the TKO before CW can use it. Dreamer decides to turn the table the wrong way around, so that the legs are facing outwards, and goes for another Spicolli Driver but CW is able to slip out. CW follows up with a spinebuster through the reversed table, and that not surprisingly is the finish. That finish looked like it really sucked to take.
WINNER: CW ANDERSON
This went a bit too long really, but CW looked good and this was a strong win for him, even though it was lessened somewhat by the fact that Dreamer did jobs for everyone. If this had been RVD or Sabu eating a loss to CW like that then it would have meant more, but those guys would have never put him over anyway, so the point is moo. CW and Dreamer would have a much better match at the next Pay Per View, where they cut the time down a bit and had things be a little bit quicker paced. Sadly this win was probably the highlight of CW’s career, as he stuck around the indy scene once ECW died and had the briefest of runs in WWE’s version of ECW, where his claim to fame was being one of the first victims of CM Punk. Dreamer somehow managed to get multiple WWE runs following the end of ECW, and now runs his own hardcore themed events.
Mikey Whipwreck and Tajiri are backstage wondering who Super Crazy’s mystery partner will be in their tag match later. Sinister Minister, fresh off nearly losing his hand at the previous Pay Per View following a pyro accident, shows up with his fingers bandaged up to lead his team into battle. Everyone hugs and is merry, in a disturbing yet heartfelt moment.
ECW Television Title
Champion: Rhino Vs Little Spike Dudley
The backstory here was that Rhino put Spike through a table with a piledriver and broke his leg in the process, so Spike is here for revenge and to add another giant killing to his list of triumphs. Spike goes for the Acid Drop right from the start, but Rhino flings him off. Spike actually targets Rhino’s leg, with goal of evening the score for his prior injury, but Rhino is able to keep kicking him off and takes the fight to the outside.
Rhino drops Spike face first onto a table from an Electric Chair position, and then gives Spike a pretty safe chair shot to the head whilst he lies on the apron. That could have been much worse, good on Rhino for being professional and pulling it a bit. Spike is now bleeding, so Rhino targets the cut back inside to try and open it up. Spike literally flings a chair into Rhino’s face in reply and then leaps off the top rope to the outside with a chair shot before sending Rhino into the crowd.
I don’t think having two matches with back to back crowd brawling and blood was a smart idea to be honest. Spike at least makes this one count by diving off a balcony onto Rhino. That would have been much more effective if CW hadn’t already suplexed Dreamer out there. You need to ration spots like that so they actually have meaning when you do them. Spike continues to take it to Rhino outside, hammering him with multiple chair shots.
Back inside, Spike keeps bringing the fight to Rhino, but takes a drop toe hold into the corner. Spike tries the Acid Drop again, but Rhino holds on and flings him over the top rope through a table. That spot was smoothly executed and looked great. Rhino goes for a cover back inside, but Spike somehow manages to kick out. Rhino hits Spike the GORE GORE GORE, but Spike rolls outside so he can’t be pinned.
Rhino goes to get Spike, who replies by hammering away with chair shots before taping Rhino’s leg to the bottom rope. With Rhino now trapped, Spike delivers chair shot after chair shot to Rhino’s leg, but the force of the shots frees Rhino from his situation. Rhino takes Spike down and then chokes him out with the tape Spike used to tie him to the rope, and Spike passes out for the stoppage finish.
WINNER BY REFEREE STOPPAGE AND STILL CHAMPION: RHINO
That was a pretty lousy ending. I get what they were going for with it, as it showed that Rhino wasn’t just a powerful Man Beast but also a vicious jerk that wasn’t below going to cheap tactics to beat a smaller man, but I don’t think the crowd understood the finish. Spike got a tonne of offence and was able to look resilient throughout the match, so eating a clean pin off Rhino’s finisher wouldn’t have hurt him. Both men would join the WWF in March and would both get pretty decent pushes until both left for TNA in the mid 00’s.
Rhino attacks Spike following the match and, when the referees try to stop him, he puts one of them through a table with a GORE GORE GORE!!!
Meanwhile, Francine comes into Steve Corino’s locker room. The storyline at the time was that Francine was a whore for the title, and supposedly she hadn’t give storyline boyfriend Justin Credible any action since he lost the title back at Anarchy Rulz to Jerry Lynn. Francine essentially offers to give Corino a quick oral examination prior to the bout, but Corino hilariously reveals that he just took care of himself a few minutes ago, and instead offers up Jack Victory instead. Corino’s delivery was utterly fantastic there, but again, this is a mid-card character all the way, no wonder he didn’t get over in the role. Francine asking Victory “You get to hold the belt sometimes right?” whilst he excitedly confirms that he does is also pretty funny. However, it all turns out to be a ruse as Justin Credible shows up to destroy Corino with his Singapore Cane, whilst Francine decides to bare her teeth during her encounter with Jack, thus leaving both men laying following the angles conclusion.
The Unholy Alliance of Mikey Whipwreck and Yoshihiro Tajiri w/ The Sinister Minister Vs Super Crazy and The Dreaded Mystery Partner of Doom™
This one came about after Whipwreck and Tajiri turned on Crazy after a brief period where the trio had been a team. Crazy reveals his mystery partner to be Kid Kash who, being the only main roster guy aside from Rob Van Dam not to show up yet, shouldn’t have really been that much of a mystery in all honesty. I don’t know why ECW didn’t just announce this without the mystery partner gimmick, as I’m sure a match with these four would have probably been a selling point for some people. Crazy and Tajiri had a long running feud in ECW, that led to many great matches.
Crazy makes the mistake of running in to attack Mikey and Tajiri on his own, and gets promptly battered as a result. Thankfully Kash soon joins the match (After Mikey and Tajiri politely stand in the ring waiting for his “Bawitdiba” music to kick in) and things settle down into a standard tag match. Mikey and Kash start out in a nice segment, with neither one getting a clear advantage, so they both tag out to give the crowd a Tajiri Vs Crazy showdown.
Tajiri and Crazy deliver their usual entertaining mix of Lucha and high flying, which leads to a standoff for a big pop from the crowd. That was some wonderfully fluid and well executed professional wrestling. Tajiri brings the technical section of the match to a close by flooring both Crazy and Kash with vicious kicks, before he and Mikey dropkick chairs into their opponent’s faces. That was a tad contrived, but looked cool at least.
Crazy and Kash are able to dodge Tree of Woe dropkicks by bridging up, and then follow with dives to the outside. That dive segment would have meant more if we hadn’t already had a dive of some kind in most of the matches tonight. Back inside, we get the ten punches en Espanyol courtesy of Crazy and Kash, which leads to Crazy taking Tajiri outside and diving into the crowd off camera. Tajiri is soon back in however, which leads to he and Mikey hitting Kash with a double Shining Wizard.
Mikey sets up two chairs in the ring, but Kash fights him off and heads up top, only to be caught by Mikey and brought down from the top rope with a Whippersnapper (Stunner) through the chairs. Not content with just that, Mikey adds another Whippersnapper off the apron through a table. Just as I’m starting to wonder where Crazy is, he comes back into the ring to hit Tajiri with a trifecta of moonsaults before grabbing a chair.
Crazy tries to use the chair to leap at Tajiri in the corner Sabu style, but Tajiri dodges it. Undeterred, Crazy keeps coming with an Arabian Press for two, as this match is just descending into a parade of moves with no real rhyme or reason to them. Tajiri plays possum to catch Crazy with a roll up, and then uses a chair to counter a sunset flip attempt. Tajiri follows that up with The Tarantula, but Kash makes the save. Mikey holds Kash so that Tajiri can hit him with the dreaded green mist, but both end up ducking and its Crazy who ends up getting a gob full of poisonous gloop.
Mikey decides that what this match needs is more weaponry, and brings a table into the ring, but gets pulled off the apron into the guardrails by Kash. Tajiri sets the table up inside, whilst Mikey sets Kash up on a table outside the ring before heading up. Kash climbs off the table to stop him though and then delivers a rana from the top rope through it in a cool spot. Back inside, Tajiri counters a Crazy powerbomb attempt into a DDT and destroys him with a series of stiff kicks, as the crowd “ooh” and “ahh” along with each strike.
Tajiri buries Crazy under a pile of chairs and then sets a table up over him as well, before coming off the top with a vicious double stomp. Not surprisingly that’s enough to end things, as Tajiri sweeps away the rubble and makes a cover for the three count.
WINNERS: THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE
This was a disjointed collection of high spots that ended up feeling a lot like the RVD/Sabu Vs Hayabusa/Shinzaki match from Heatwave 98, which I also don’t care for very much. Quite a lot of the spots looked cool, but the match didn’t really have any flow or enjoyable transitions. It was just spot, spot, spot, with no real intensity or storytelling. If this had been the only match on the show like this then I could have given it some leeway, but after all the other high spots, table bumps and brawling seen in the other matches tonight, this just felt like more of the same. If you want a match like this to mean anything then it has to be special, and here it felt like just another match, even though everyone worked hard. Tajiri would end up in the WWF not soon after this, whilst Kash would sign with WCW just as it was about to die. Mikey would actually end up as the leader of Special K in the early days of Ring of Honour, whilst Crazy would work mostly in Japan and Mexico before getting a fulltime WWE gig in 2006. Minister is now a DJ I believe, along with being a semi-regular member of the Impact Wrestling roster.
We get a promo from Da Baldies tandem of Spanish Angel and Devito, as they get off a train and say nothing of any real importance. We then cut to The Blue Boy, who is driving around New York and picks up Jasmine St Claire. Innuendo results. Both of those segments were pretty pointless, but I guess they were there to give the ring crew a chance to clean all the debris out of the ring ahead of the main event.
ECW World Title
Champion: Steve Corino w/ Jack Victory Vs Justin Credible w/ Francine Vs Jerry Lynn
Corino won the title at November to Remember by defeating Lynn, Credible and Sandman in a confusing Double Jeopardy match, which was probably the worst way he could have started his reign. Lynn has been pretty salty since losing the belt, but is still ostensibly a face here, despite heel commentator Cyrus trying to woo him to the dark side of the force. Cyrus pretending to like Lynn’s death metal entrance music is pretty funny. Lynn had defeated Credible in October to end his sixth month reign of disinterest, and the Francine sex well has run dry as consequence, so he has an extra motivation to win here.
The fans want Sandman, but he’s not here and the match starts without him. Lynn de-canes Credible to start and hits both of his opponents with it. All three men take turns controlling the other two, and the work is good from all three, but sadly they decide to take the fight into the crowd, even though all three men are talented enough not to need a shortcut like that. Not only that, but Credible isn’t able to clear the railing when Lynn tries to back body drop him into the crowd, and ends up landing knee first onto it. That looked ugly and Credible lets off a string of obscenities before storming off, leaving Lynn to have to let him go and follow Corino into the crowd. Way to be a professional there PJ…
Corino and Lynn kill time in the crowd until Credible decides to come back, and the match continues, as they brawl around ringside. Corino takes another spill into the crowd, courtesy of Lynn, which allows Credible to jump Lynn and throw him back inside for a powerbomb, which gets two. Credible now grabs a microphone and starts talking smack to his two opponents as he stomps away at them. Sorry, but it’s impossible to buy Justin Credible as a badass. As a cheating heel who needed the help of an entourage to win matches he was fine, but once they tried to portray him as a tough guy it was game over.
All three men now trade roll up attempts, which leads to everyone to getting bumped for the triple down. Corino is up first and hits Credible with a bionic elbow, but Lynn hits a tornado DDT on him for two. Corino tries the Old School Expulsion onto Lynn, but Lynn counters it into a reverse DDT for two. Credible goes for a Tombstone on Lynn, but Lynn counters that into one of his own for two. Corino now tries to use a chair, but Lynn ducks and kicks it into his face. The story of Lynn being the better wrestler who has the edge over both guys is being told very well here.
Lynn gives Corino a Cradle Piledriver onto the chair, but allows himself to get distracted by Francine. Francine’s interference goes awry however, as Credible punches her by accident. However, Credible is able to hit Lynn with the Tombstone in the confusion and that’s enough to eliminate Lynn. Cyrus storms off in disgust over Lynn getting eliminated, whilst the fans are so shocked by this development that they start chanting for Sandman again.
Thus Corino and Credible are left and start trading punches. The fight spills outside again (Arghhhhhh!!!!!!!) where Credible floors Corino with a super kick and takes Corino on a tour of the building. Shockingly Corino is yet to pop a gusher (As was his M.O. at the time) which suggests he may have learnt somewhat from all the blood he’d lost earlier in the year. Corino gets the better of Credible by the entrance way and heads backstage, before coming back with a ladder. Credible sends Corino into his own ladder, but Corino gets the better of things back inside the ring and brings the ladder in.
Shockingly, it’s Credible who has reached for a blade and not Corino, but he is able to shake the blood loss off by giving Corino a suplex onto the ladder for two. Outside and into the crowd we go again, as two men who don’t really need to take these shortcuts continue to do so. I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but we’ve seen this sort of stuff multiple times tonight. These guys keeping it in the ring would have been a breath of fresh air after all the brawling that had already come before, but instead they’ve just decided to keep the theme going. When nearly every match is either a brawl, spot fest or both, those match styles just lose all of their specialness. At least in spot heavy companies like ROH, you’d still get a good solid technical wrestling match on most shows to break things up.
Anyway, both men end up fighting up on the balcony amongst the fans, which ends with Corino dangling off the edge whilst Credible canes him until he falls. Bless Corino, he was trying so hard to get over here as a fighting champion. Amazingly, it’s Corino who emerges from the throng of fans in control of Credible, although he is now sporting his customary crimson mask. Damn it, I thought we’d see an end to the streak of Corino’s self-mutilation, but I guess we’ll have to wait for another time. Both men trade chops back inside the ring, with Credible getting the better of things and hitting the Tombstone for two.
HC Loc is the referee here and all of his counts have been lightning fast. It really kills the drama on the near falls, as the guys have to kick out so quickly and the fans don’t have a chance to get invested in the pin fall attempts. Credible misses a charge in the corner and collides with the ladder, which allows Corino to hit the Old School Expulsion for the three count.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: STEVE CORINO
This match would have been a decent main event if every other match on the card hadn’t already done everything the guys in this match did. As a result, the crowd weren’t with the match that much, as they’d already been burnt out by all the previous chair swinging and table breaking. Lynn looked great in the match, which only made his early elimination all the more annoying, and once he went Credible and Corino gave up all pretence of having a wrestling match and just headed straight for the crowd brawling.
It also didn’t help that Corino’s wrestling style didn’t actually mirror his gimmick in any way, as he wrestled the match as a gutsy babyface despite being a comedy heel in all his previous appearances on the show. I don’t know why they didn’t just book him as a babyface if that was how he was going to wrestle. It could have been that Paul Heyman was going for the idea of Corino being a bit of a drip that could turn it on in big match situations, but they made no attempt of trying to get that idea over on commentary if that was the goal.
Despite his moment of unprofessionalism earlier in the bout, Credible was fine here, but it was a mid-card fine and not a main event fine if that makes any sense? I’ve never quite been as down on Credible as a worker as others seem to, but I totally understand why people think he shouldn’t have been a main event heel. He just didn’t have the charisma or the presence to pull that off, even though he was perfectly serviceable as a mid-card heel act. Both Lynn and Credible would go on to get jobs in the WWF once ECW folded. Corino had been earmarked for a WCW run thanks to Dusty Rhodes pushing for him, but when WCW died he ended up getting a run as the NWA Champion. It was during that title reign that he met up with Shinya Hashimoto and got a gig in Zero-1 as one of their top foreign acts.
Following the match, Sandman finally makes an appearance and destroys both Corino and Victory with a Singapore cane, before stealing the belt and going into the crowd to drink some beers. This would lead to a Tables, Ladders and Canes match at ECW’s final Pay Per View Event between Sandman, Corino and Credible.
We cut from Sandman’s beer party to see Jerry Lynn leaving the arena in a huff. Cyrus comes up to him and bemoans that Lynn was screwed again. Lynn agrees and decides to form an alliance with Cyrus, going officially heel in the process.
We get a closing video montage set to Marilyn Manson’s “Disposable Teens” and we’re out
I seem to remember liking this show in my teenage years, but going back time has not been kind to it. Doring and Roadkill winning the tag titles was a nice moment and a good match to boot, but nothing else really came close to breaking the *** mark. I’d remembered the Mikey/Tajiri/Crazy/Kash match as being really fun, but it has not aged well and I didn’t like it at all this time around.
The show in general was just too samey from start to finish, with each match mostly repeating what had come before it. This was a symptom of the effort being put forth by all the wrestlers, as they all treated their matches like big showcases and went all out. Though such effort is admirable, it left me feeling really burnt out as a viewer, so much so that I had to take a sizeable break after the Rhino/Spike match before tackling the rest of the show.
At the end of the day, if you have an ECW itch to scratch then there are much better shows you can watch. Heatwave 98 mixes in enough good wrestling with the brawling to make the latter not feel too overwhelming, as does Anarchy Rulz 99. I would recommend you check out either of those Pay Per Views instead if you want a better idea of why ECW was so popular in its heyday.
Whilst you’re here, why not check out other great content here on the Blog of Doom?
Scott Keith has reviewed another classic episode of Mid-South Wrestling, this one being from the 4th of February 1984, and you can read what he thought by clicking right HERE
And Thomas Hall has recapped this weeks edition of NXT on the WWE Network. You can read what he thought by clicking right HERE
Thanks for reading and take care till next time!